Friday, April 20 , 2018, 3:52 pm | Fair 63º

 
 
 
 
Relationships

Louise Palanker: When Is Rape Rape; Foster Care Hell; Empathy and Co-Dependency

Question from Amber

Hi, Weezy! This question may be a bit graphic, but is it considered rape when I say no multiple times but the person gets annoying so I say yes even though it is very uncomfortable?

This has happened many times with the same person. We broke up two months ago. I don’t think it’s rape but others do. Is it?

Weezy

If you eventually said yes, then it would be difficult to get this person convicted in a court of law. There is legal accountability and there is moral accountability.

As a society, we try very hard to have these standards match but in reality, that can not always happen. My view is that this boy is very morally WRONG. NO MEANS NO.

However, there is a lot of “romantic fiction” that depicts a “No! No! Yes!” sort of scenario in which she says no, but deep down she means yes and so the man just has to keep asking.

Of course, this is not OK or remotely romantic to me but it’s out there and I’m sure that some guys talk to each other and encourage each other to just keep trying until they get the answer they want. Give ONLY the answer YOU wish to give.

The difficult question you must ask yourself is, why did you eventually say yes? Only you know the true reason but If he wasn’t hurting you, threatening you or forcing you, then social pressure or the need to please or the hope that he may love you more are never a good enough reason to have sex.

EVERY time you have sex you may get pregnant. EVERY time you have sex you are vulnerable. You should only have sex with a guy whose primary goal is not to control you but to protect you. It needs to be a loving partnership.

When you say, no, back it up with behavior. Get away from him. If you are making out with a guy and he tries to have sex and you say, no, you can not just return to kissing him. You need to get up and go home at that point. If you continue making out, he hears “no,” as “not yet.”

On another day when you are both fully clothed and not in the heat of a moment you can discuss your boundaries and what you expect from one another. Be very clear with this guy. If he is an ex, why exactly is he expecting sex?

My best advice is that you stop spending time with this person. He is not respecting you. Love looks far different than this. You will only be free to see it once you move on.

Watch this video from the Stuff Mom Never Told You website. Cristen has been through your exact situation, and she has some words of wisdom for all women:

(Stuff Mom Never Told You — HowStuffWorks video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Tyler

My foster parents are rude to me and the things they say are serious. I got put into a family that I barely even like talking to. I was folding my dad’s socks today and he was blaming me that I mismatched them, and he said I was dumber than a bag of hammers. It really got to me because they always say things about me that are not even true!

I feel almost like an orphan because my biological mom abused me and my older sister. She left and so did my dad. Now I’m stuck with foster parents who I don’t even like because they always say the rudest things that really do effect me.

I feel like if my biological parents wouldn’t have left, my life would be normal.

Weezy

You are having a rough childhood. That is for sure and I am so sorry to hear about it. But the “What If” game is going to get you nowhere.

Your life would not have been normal with your biological parents. It probably would have been worse because they are people who were not equipped or prepared to raise a child, and that is just entirely sad for all three of you.

You can certainly tell your social worker that these foster parents are emotionally abusive. They call you names and insult your intelligence. That is by no means OK, and it should NOT be happening.

I will be blunt. Being in the system can really suck. But there is always hope that your situation can and should improve. Click here for more information about foster care.

The miracle is that you are here. That means there is a purpose for your life and your mission is to go and find it.

Maybe you will grow up and make the system better and more emotionally healthy for kids. Maybe you will raise loved and cherished kids and by so doing, you will feed your own soul with what was missing from your childhood. Maybe anything and everything.

Keep going. Life will become beautiful for you.

You are not alone:

(Annie E. Casey Foundation video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Rebecca

Weezy, how do I stop being an empath and co-dependent? When someone is sad, I start feeling sad. When around an upset friend, I feel equally upset because I feel how they feel.

I tend to bottle up my emotions. I’m extremely sensitive to other people’s sadness and anger, and when they express those emotions, I cry. I try not to feel sad, but I can’t! No matter how hard I try!

I also am very indecisive, and I say I agree with other people, even when I disagree with them, to make them happy. I put others’ happiness before my own. But I feel upset in the end.

How do I stop this? How do I become assertive?

Weezy

What you are calling empathy sounds more like a fear that YOU will not be liked. I believe that true empathy comes only after you know that you are OK. Once Self is protected and safe, one can go deeply and purely into the feelings of another person, knowing that another person’s feelings do not threaten one’s own.

Instead, what is happening is that you fear that anyone’s negative emotions are because of you. Therefore you try to please everyone and to agree with everyone SO THAT you can feel safe and loved. This will inevitably push people away because they are getting no sense of the true you.

YOU are losing yourself in others. You are altering your moods and your views to suit others. You have compromised your sense of self.

You have in essence lied to people. You are resentful. They feel deceived. Nobody is happy. However counter-intuitive it may feel, your authentic self will earn you more respect.

Yes, co-dependent is a better term to describe yourself. You should see a therapist to talk about what may have led to this.

Remember that YOU matter and that people do want to know the real you. The most important person who wants to know the real you is YOU. Don’t let her down.

Here is Terri Cole with more about “The Disease to Please”:

(Terri Cole video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara​. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Patricia Griffin
Patricia Griffin
"I am very hands on and feel that each transaction is special and different. My clients goals are foremost in what I do to bring about a successful transaction."

Full Profile >